Review of Turkish Airlines flight Paris Istanbul in Business

Airline Turkish Airlines
Flight TK1824
Class Business
Seat 2A
Aircraft Airbus A321neo
Flight time 03:30
Take-off 13 Dec 22, 13:15
Arrival at 13 Dec 22, 18:45
TK   #17 out of 78 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 698 reviews
bldavid
By GOLD 645
Published on 25th December 2022

I went on a 30-day trip in December 2022 and January 2023 to leave the Icelandic winter behind me for some time. The trip had four main parts: visiting Sudan and Kenya; visiting friends, colleagues and relatives in Hungary and the Czech Republic; a family holiday in Tenerife and a business trip to Senegal, The Gambia and Sierra Leone.

I had a total of 18 flights, booked mostly as one-ways and one double open-jaw. Here’s my final list of flights after many cancellations, changes of departure time and aircraft type:

Keflavík to Paris CDG, Icelandair, economy class, B757 (no flight report)
Paris to Istanbul, Turkish, business class, A321
Istanbul to Khartoum, Turkish, business class, B737
Khartoum to Addis, Ethiopian, economy class upgraded to business class, B737
Addis to Nairobi NBO, Ethiopian, economy class upgraded to business class, B777
Nairobi WIL to Mombasa to Lamu, Skyward Express, economy class, Q300
Lamu to Malindi to Nairobi WIL, Safarilink, economy class, Q200
Nairobi NBO to Istanbul, Turkish, business class, A330
Istanbul to Budapest, Turkish, business class, B737
Vienna to Tenerife South, Wizzair, economy class, A321
Tenerife North to Gran Canaria, Binter Canarias, economy class, ATR42
Grand Canaria to Dakar, Binter Canarias, economy class, E195
Dakar to Banjul, Air Sénégal, economy class, A320
Banjul to Freetown, Air Sénégal, economy class
Freetown to Banjul, Air Sénégal, economy class
Banjul to Casablanca, Royal Air Maroc, business class
Casablanca to Paris ORY, Royal Air Maroc, business class
Paris CDG to Keflavík, Play, economy class

The only direct flight from Europe to Khartoum in Sudan is with Turkish Airlines from Istanbul. Other major airlines offering direct flights to Khartoum include Egyptair from Cairo, Ethiopian from Addis, Kenya Airways from Nairobi, Qatar Airways from Doha, Emirates from Dubai and Saudia from Jeddah and Riyadh. Regional or low-cost airlines flying to Khartoum include Air Arabia from Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Cairo; flydubai from Dubai, flynas from several airports in Saudi Arabia and Nile Air from Cairo. Sudan Airways, the national airline of Sudan does not seem to offer any flights currently. Badr Airlines and Tarco Aviation, two other Sudanese airlines offer regular flights within Sudan and also to some airports in Africa and the Middle East. All Sudanese airlines are currently banned to enter the airspace of the European Union. They cannot be booked online from abroad.

I originally booked an open-jaw flight with Turkish from Budapest to Istanbul to Khartoum and from Nairobi to Istanbul to Budapest as it was the cheapest option in business class from Europe and the fare was refundable. But the flight from Budapest to Istanbul was cancelled; I asked for a full refund and I was lucky to be able to book a flight from Paris for a price only slightly higher just two weeks before departure. The flight from Istanbul to Budapest on the return leg was also cancelled and rebooked to later; I originally had a connecting time of one hour in Istanbul and it was changed to eight hours.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle has nine terminals: 1, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G and 3. Turkish Airlines uses Terminal 1.   


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Most Star Alliance members and some non-affiliated airlines use this terminal.


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There were extra long queues for economy check-in but only two or three people in the business line. 


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My Sudanese entry permit was verified and I was checked in quickly.

The check-in desks next to ours were for Air Algérie; hundreds of people seemed to queue with several hundreds of pieces of luggage.

The priority access called Accès No 1 is very confusing at this terminal. A sign seems to indicate access only to gates 50 to 68 (my flight was to leave from gate 24) but it is actually for all business class passengers. Many other passengers also went to the wrong place. Business class passengers have priority access to passport control which meant jumping the queue of the many economy passengers with the help of the staff. Signposting is very poor at the airport but all staff were helpful and smiling.

The landmark escalators of Terminal 1.  


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The lounge is on floor 10 between passport control and security check. You have to take the elevator. 


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The lounge is big with some natural lights. It was quite empty at this time. 


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There’s an outdoor smoking area.


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In-lounge toilets and showers are available.


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There’s a section for first class passengers.


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The choice of food was not huge but the quality was quite good.



I enjoyed my stay at the lounge.

Long corridors lead to security control. This area has been renovated and looks quite nice.  


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Priority access at the security control is clearly signposted, there was no waiting time and the staff was friendly.

The gate area. 


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Boarding was supposed to start at 13.15 but there was a delay. Passengers had had to wait in the line for quite a long time before boarding actually started and not much information was given by the gate crew, on the screen or through boarding announcements. 


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Two policemen were waiting at the gate looking for somebody. This person probably didn't board when they had seen them. The policemen came onboard to look for this person but left empty-handed.

The plane as seen during boarding: 


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I was already on the plane when I received a text message from Turkish at 13.35 that the new departure time for my flight was 13.45.

Boarding was completed at 13.45.

I received another text message at 13.55 saying that the flight has been “rescheduled” to 13.55 and that I should proceed to the boarding gate. Very confusing.

This A321neo has five rows of business class in a 2+2 configuration. Turkish is one of the few airlines in Europe that offer proper business class seats on their narrow-body aircraft. Legroom is more than enough. The cabin looked beautiful and was in perfect condition. Business class was full.

Seats 1AC.


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The view from seat 2A.


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A welcome drink was offered a few minutes later. I had Turkish Airlines' signature lemonade.


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Push-back was at 13.59 and take-off at 14.13 from runway 08L for a scheduled departure time of 13.15.

An expected flight time of two hours and 51 minutes was shown on the screen.

Andaloujet, Air Algérie, Saudia and Egyptair also use Terminal 1. 


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Views of Charles de Gaulle Airport after take-off.


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The screen shortly after take-off.


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Turkish Airlines offer 623 different movies and many other TV Programs, music channels, games and other activities in their in-flight entertainment.


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The headphones were in the seat pocket.


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The remote controls are high-tech. It’s possible to follow the route map on them while you watch a movie on the main screen.


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A hot towel was offered ten minutes after take-off. Menus were distributed another five minutes later.

Turkish Airlines offer a full hot menu in business class including an appetizer, a salad, a choice of three hot main courses, a cheese selection and a dessert. Very impressive! 


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Drink orders (but not meal orders) were taken another five minutes later. The flight attendant working in business class was friendly and efficient.

Meal service started 35 minutes after take-off. The appetizer, the salad, the cheese and the dessert were served at the same time on a tray. 


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Best of Turkish Mezze. It was absolutely fantastic and could be rightly called the best.


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Shepherd’s Salad and Selection of Cheese.


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The appetizer was cleared about 20 minutes later. The main courses were brought on a trolley and passengers were asked what they wanted. I choose the lamb.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Polenta, Zucchini Wrap, Ratatouille and Roasted Red Pepper. The lamb tasted very good. The only comment is that the plate was too small so it was difficult to cut the meat. 


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Meal service was completed one hour and 50 minutes after take-off.

Some packed roasted hazelnuts were offered after the meal. They were refreshingly delicious. 


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Flight information about one hour before landing. 


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A hot towel was offered again 50 minutes before landing.

Time passed quickly; the cabin was quiet and the seat was comfortable. 


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The lights of Istanbul.


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We were not far from the old Istanbul Airport a few minutes before landing. 


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We landed in Istanbul at 18.53 and were at the gate at 19.10 for a scheduled arrival time of 18.45. The actual flight time was only two hours and 40 minutes for a block time of three hours and 30 minutes.

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Verdict

Turkish Airlines

9.8/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering10.0

Star Alliance Lounge - 1

9.0/10
Comfort10.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Services8.0

Paris - CDG

6.8/10
Efficiency5.0
Access7.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness9.0

Istanbul - IST

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

The experience at Paris CDG was a mixed bag. Being booked in business class was clearly an advantage at check-in. Incomplete signage before passport control made things more complicated than they should be. The lounge was very comfortable and the food was good. Security check was a breeze. Boarding was slow and poorly organised. The flight itself was excellent. The seats were very comfortable for a daytime flight of about three hours. The meal was excellent and the cabin crew was efficient and friendly. Altogether a very good way to travel despite some of the shortcomings of the departure airport.

Information on the route Paris (CDG) Istanbul (IST)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 13 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Paris (CDG) → Istanbul (IST).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Turkish Airlines with 8.0/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 19 minutes.

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4 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 617800 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1871 Comments

    Hi David, thanks for sharing this FR. The new A321neo cabins look very good, the IFE upgrade from the foldout screens just makes the best narrow body product that much better. Fantastic catering as expected on TK, serving lamb on the bone is quite premium.

  • Comment 617894 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6051 Comments

    Hi David, nice to see a report from CDG T1 since it had been closed for so long. I see the confusing signage or lack thereof hasn’t really changed. The newly renovated parts of the terminal look quite nice and we’re sorely needed.

    As far as the flight itself—near perfection with a true business class recliner seat and fantastic and beautifully presented catering.

    How great to be able to go on a 30 day adventure! Totally jealous . Enjoy!

    Thanks for sharing!

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